Despite all odds we have gotten Gosick: The Crime with No Name in the U.S. so we decided to give it a look after enjoying the first book. After Victorique solves the case of a stolen plate for Kazuya they both find an ad in the newspaper that summons them to the town where Victorique’s mother was born. They must solve several deaths in town as well as a famous death that occurred many years ago. But this is an odd and isolated town with many secrets. I was slightly disappointed in the mysteries in this book. The author did not tie them together like the mysteries in the first book. The town was very odd but I think I rolled with that fact much more than Narutaki. I enjoyed seeing Kazuya and Victorique again as they are lovely characters but I would have like to see them in a stronger story. Still I had a good time and the story answered some questions while stetting up future stories. I also have the distinct feeling that the odd nun at the beginning of the book is set to be a reoccurring character for better or for worse. After reading this I am really curious to see the Gosick anime that has just been announced. I fear that we will not be getting any other Gosick novels any time soon but until someone picks up the manga the anime will have to do for our mystery fix.
The fact that a second Gosick was released at all in English is in itself something to be grateful for. The story starts off very much like the first as Victorique solves a case in mere moments. Only this time around the thief ends up as a traveling companion for our two detectives. Three more travelers join their caravan as the larger mystery involving Victorique’s mother rears its head in the strange mountain town they are bound for. Some things about this story kept me from fully enjoying it. Not the least of which was that is was painfully obvious who the culprits were in each mystery. Considering that Victorique is supposed to be a Sherlock Holmes like detective, I should almost never be able to deduce who the culprit is. The friendship between Kazuya and Victorique which I found amusing in the first book is stilted and borders on cruel in this second installment. The dialogue is also really clunky, not sure if this is just a rushed translation or not. Gosick 2 didn’t capture me like the first even though it should have because learning anything more about the eccentric Victorique is welcome. I am glad Gosick got another volume released, but I wish I could give it a better review.
I finished the last half (eps. 26-50) of Future Police Urashiman and I have to say it was a fun ride indeed. I was very much surprised that we learned so much about the Fuhrer after the 25th episode. I expected them to sit on the information until close to the end of the series. In fact most of the silly episodes disappear after the 25th episode. Even when Ludovich makes his bid to be the leader of Necrime the story pretty much stays consistently serious. The series climax is very much in the 49th episode leaving the 50th to have some solid falling action. They did keep a good deal of the series open for a sequel and we never do learn much about Ryu’s life in the past besides his connection to the Fuhrer. Not even his actual name. But it ends well and should satisfy most people who watch it. It’s not a must watch show but it’s lots of fun and is a great surprisingly complex action comedy for when you are in the mood. Urashiman Ryuu should definitely be in Tatsunoko vs Capcom 2.
Spiral‘s 8th book is rather boring unfortunately. There is a lot of talking in this volume but nothing seems to really move forward, nor do we really learn much of interest. Even the tense action at the beginning is bogged down by way too much talking in this volume to no real purpose. There is a bit of a teetering edge to the ending, so hopefully volume 9 proves more engrossing.
Tapping the treasure trove that is legitimate streaming anime on Hulu, I decided to watch Slayers Revolution. I have been meaning to watch this for a while as I have always been a fan of the franchise. The story starts with Lina being perused by inspector Wizer for various crimes including the destruction of magical tanks. Lina eventually discovers that the stuffed animal Pokota is behind the crimes she is being blamed for. What is worse is that Pokota is tied into a bigger story involving a lost city, forbidden magic, and the Red Priest Rezo. It is a standard Slayers plot but you don’t go into Slayers because you expect it to revolutionize the fantasy genre. You go into it for a solid comedy/fantasy blend. It that respect I think it succeeds. As always I could have used a more active Amelia and Zelgadis like in the novels but I have come to accept that the anime is the Lina Inverse show. The character designs are touched up a bit due to there being over 10 years between this and the last season of Slayers but everyone looks essentially the same. Revolution is not as great as the first two seasons but it was much stronger than Try. The ending makes it clear that there was always suppose to be a second part to this story that leads right into Slayers Evolution-R.
Swan 15’s melodramatic greatness centers more around the complicated romances budding for Masumi in New York City as a love confession sends her reeling. But in a bit of a different way than expected, Masumi is more torn up by the prospect of falling in love because all she wants to think about is dancing at the moment. Though it’s becoming shockingly clear to her that rarely can those types of feelings be kept in check. As always with Swan, Masumi has a bit of defeat and triumph in the dancing arena here as well. And it is even said by Masumi that her luck is really unbelievable. However, I do feel that you see so much growth from Masumi with each passing volume that it is not wholly ridiculous the path her journey takes. My only real qualm with the New York City setting is that I really miss the characters from early on, and while I really enjoy many of the new people, I feel a bit lonely like Masumi without her old friends.
Victorique in her natural setting: